Priory Musical Festival - review

Harpist Anna Kate Pearson playing with the Lancaster Priory Orchestra.
Harpist Anna Kate Pearson playing with the Lancaster Priory Orchestra.

Lancaster Priory has just come to the end of a week of magnificent live music.

Music is a major part of the life of the Priory and the choirs numbering more than 50 men, boys and girls abound with musical talent.

There were four concerts during the week, all of very different styles.

They featured, virtuosic violin, piano and trombone, and singing played a large part with solo baritone, a close harmony group called the “Gist”, and an evening with Imogen Mechie - well known in the district as a very promising singer-song-writer.

The whole week was wonderful. The climax of the week was a large concert with orchestra. The choice for Saturday’s programme proved ideal.

Saint-Saens symphony for organ gave us the chance to hear the fine new organs which the Priory now has. This work showed quality playing from the orchestra.

The exciting entrance of the full organ in the latter part of the symphony had the desired effect and the ground truly did shake!

In Vaughan Williams “Five Mystical Songs” and in Parry`s “Blest pair of sirens” accompanied by the orchestra, the choir’s singing had the beautiful fresh quality which young voices give, and soloist Andrew Wickens gave a beautifully sensitive rendering of a rarely heard fine work.

Lancaster Priory is so lucky to have great music, both for worship and concerts.

A member of the audience was heard to say “this was the best concert so far in the seven years since they began.”